Foods To Say No To When You Are On Your Periods
- 4 Min Read
- Written by: Rama Manikumar
It is common knowledge that periods are a stressful and complicated affair. With a variety of hormones surging, your body needs all the support it can get. Now, if you strictly follow a list of foods to avoid during period, and opt for a well-balanced and healthy diet, you can well have a smooth period.
However, even the best of us tend to slip up once in a while. You tend to give in to your cravings and have a gooey chocolate brownie with ice cream. Surely a treat for the tongue, but trouble for your periods!
Having foods to avoid during menstruation while on your periods can lead to problems like cramping, pain, and heavy or light periods; hence, it is best to avoid them.
What not to eat during periods
Ditch the Sugar!
All those brownies and ice creams that you crave are packed with processed sugar. This processed sugar is associated with numerous period problems. Research shows that women who consumed higher amounts of sugar have a higher risk of dysmenorrhea. Dysmenorrhea is a condition characterized by painful periods, cramps, and irregular flow.
Furthermore, a high intake of sugar can lead to hormonal imbalance and malabsorption of nutrients in the body. Such effects can lead to irregular cycles and mood swings. So, think twice before ordering an ice cream sundae!
Think salt, think cramps
Do you feel yourself reaching out for a bag of chips during your period days? Stop right there! Frequently snacking on salty and savory food items like chips will pump your body with copious amounts of sodium.
Did you know that excess sodium in your body will force your kidneys to retain water? This leads to weight gain, bloating, breast tenderness, swelling of your hands and feet, headaches, and fatigue. Ditch salt this period for a smooth sailing cycle!
Red Meat and Alcohol-The disastrous duo!
Planning on getting a juicy steak with an ice-cold beer to calm down your cravings? This can prove harmful to your period health. Processed red meats are high in saturated fats and can cause inflammation! Consuming such foods during your periods can worsen period pains, swelling, bloating, and cramps.
Furthermore, alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it increases the frequency of bathroom visits. This could lead to dehydration. Staying dehydrated during your periods will only increase the risk of you getting menstrual cramps. That’s why processed red meat and alcohol are a disastrous duo for your periods!
Cut out the caffeine
Nothing like a hot and fresh cup of coffee to start the day, right? Coffee may give you the strength to power through the day but has negative effects on your period health! Coffee contains caffeine which is a known vasoconstrictor, meaning it reduces blood flow in the body.
A high intake of caffeine can restrict blood flow to the uterus thus resulting in irregular menses and fertility problems. Studies indicate that women having a higher caffeine intake are at double risk of having shorter periods!
Fried food: The fatty culprit!
Think menstrual distress, think fried food! Those crispy and battered-up onion rings look scrumptious but could land you in a world of pain. Irregular or missed periods and severe PMS symptoms like cramps and pain are some of the consequences of frequently consuming fried stuff during your periods.
Furthermore, just like all processed foods, fried foods are rich in trans fat which increases the risk of infertility and endometriosis. So, ditch those fried nuggets to have a merrier period!
Tone down the spice!
Some people are a fan of spicy food, while some aren’t. For those who enjoy binging on red hot Chinese food, it’s best to tone down your craving for spice during your periods!
Although spicy food does not directly affect your period health, it worsens the side effects. Eating too much spice on your periods can cause acidity problems and stomach upsets. This worsens the abdominal pain, cramps, bloating, or swelling you might be facing.
It is important to remember that the key is moderation! Foods like caffeine, salt, and spice will only affect your menstrual health if consumed in large quantities. Having a cheat day and gorging on your favorite foods won’t do you any harm. However, avoiding unhealthy foods like these and focusing on your nutrition goes a long way in preserving your period health.
We hope that you found this article helpful and wish you happy and pain-free periods!
- Bajalan Z et al. Nutrition as a potential factor of primary dysmenorrhea: a systematic review of observational studies. Gynecologic and obstetric investigation. 2019;84(3):209-24.
- Weight gain during periods: what to know. Available from: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/327326
- 5 Foods that can cause Inflammation. Available from: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/5-foods-that-can-cause-inflammation/#:~:text=Red%20and%20processed%20meats&text=Research%20shows%20both%20processed%20and,saturated%20fat%2C%20which%20causes%20inflammation.
- Fenster L et al. Caffeine consumption and menstrual function. American journal of epidemiology. 1999 Mar 15;149(6):550-7.
- Mumford SL et al. Dietary fat intake and reproductive hormone concentrations and ovulation in regularly menstruating women. The American journal of clinical nutrition. 2016 Mar 1;103(3):868-77.